Neat xl6 test

Hello friends,
well covid19 made things a bit more complicated,
i have posted a topic back on Oct. 19 about neat xl6 with my Naim gear.
well, things have changed quiet a bit since than.
I upgraded from olives to Nap300 DR + 252 + SC DR
connected to LP12 KEEL ARO DVXX2 + SL + HC DR.
all with Lumina and HL cables.
anyhow, I got the XL6’s for a demo luckily and must say I’m not that satisfied.
my 804 D3 sounded more open and balanced.
the XL6’s are boomy and their overall sound is close and dark if I may .
I know they should sound better but have no idea what to do in order to make them sing.
placed them about 40cm from the wall and a lot of space around them.
room is about 25sqm.
I would love to hear your thoughts.

What type of floor do you have ? Carpet - tile - laminate flooring - hardwood ?
Are the speakers new / used / demos ?
Are they in phase ?

Laminate floor, Demo but quiet new, from the dealer.
they are in phase of course. they shouldn’t be?

I use Super Lumina speaker cables, Super Lumina din to xlr’s and Chord sarum t jumpers.

Yes they should be in phase but just wanted to check.
Are you using floor protectors ? I do find that the interaction of the speaker and the floor can make a big difference and the other thing could be be that the speakers just don’t work in your room.
I have a couple pairs of speakers at home ( including Neats ) that I rotate in and out of the system and actually use different floor protectors based on what speaker I’m using
My floors are hardwood over 3/4 inch plywood glued and screwed to the original 3/4 floor boards so they are very stiff floors

Well, floor protectors are Atacama made. guess they supposed to do the job.
The laminate floor laid on thin sponge on a hard floor base. no wood on the chain.
is 40cm from the rear wall enough?
it’s so disappointing as every review I read vouch for them as being better than the 804’s

The speakers need quite a lot of running in before they sound as they can. When new they often sound somehow tight and constricted, as if the music is struggling to escape. The B&W is front porter whereas the Neat is rear ported, which may affect how they fit into your room. Despite your room being a good size, speakers will all interact with it in a different way.

One other thing - despite what reviews may say - you may simply prefer your existing speakers. I suggest you put your speakers in another room and use the Neats for two weeks, with music playing as much as possible. Then put yours back and see what you think. Too much swapping from one to the other simply causes confusion.

From my experience with Neats isobaric speakers (which I think are fantastic), 40cm is not enough and your description of them sounding boomy sounds about right. Side walls are also important - if you have them 40 forwards and 40 in for example. it wouldn’t be a good set up. Try pulling them further forwards if you can. Go over the top and keep pulling them out even well beyond what could be a realistic final position, at least it will give you an idea of how the room interaction changes and you can decide if there is a position you would be happy to compromise on.

I absolutely loved the XL6s when I heard them in a dealer’s dem room but in my lounge - limited space - they just didn’t work.

Atacama use that soft bottom I think
You could try to replace those with a solid type floor protectors or maybe even try coins
This as a experiment to see if you notice any change in performance.
But again the speaker just might not like the room ( this does happen )

yes I already removed that soft bottom.
guess i will try and play with position and give it those 2 weeks of more break.
if not the 804’s remains, there are not that bad :wink:

I have mine about 45 cm from solid brick back wall, about twice that distance from side walls. I have an l shaped room which possibly tends to avoid tendency of any bass boom. Floor is engineered wood on suspended floor. I did add Gaia feet which improved focus and bass definition but even without them they were not boomy. As others have said, try adjusting position and they may need to run in more.

Hello again everybody,
well, after 10 days of listening and contemplating, lots of tries and errors and positioning, I came to the a conclusion…
I will stay with my D3’s, although they lack a bit of the depth and warmth of the XL6 they overall sing better in my room and system, not perfect of course but we all know there is no perfect unfortunately.
I guess the neat might sound better in another room or space but here it felt too dark and in some recordings, specially old classic rock albums even depressing in a way, for sure not something i would expect from 10k speakers attached to my above average gear.
you are most welcome to write more of your thoughts and suggestions and thanks for your help.

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